What I Learned As A Non-Engineer in Building Tech

I do not code myself but I have great respect for those who do. However, I do participate in a very meaningful way on every aspect of what we build, from hiring the most talented engineers and directing them in every way with input and encouragement. Every piece of technology that Plum Alley offers—the conceptual framework, features, and the visual aspect—is the result of hours of deliberate thinking, building, and testing.

The Plum Alley team now has experience with e-commerce technology, open source, private social networks, and crowdfunding technology. We’ve also been open to experimenting with new languages, frameworks, and technologies.

We started our crowdfunding functionality with what is known in startup land as the MVP (minimal viable product) and, with that, learned from our users’ behavior and feedback. We’ve had moments where the site malfunctioned due to bugs. Every time that happened we had the entire team working around the clock to solve the problem. It was excruciating and one of the most challenging times as a founder.

One thing we know is that every site encounters problems. Just today, here is a tweet from Kickstarter: “We’re experiencing site issues at the moment — we’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime you can check here: http://status.kickstarter.com

One thing we have observed is that many people are not comfortable with technology and lack confidence when using websites. Sometimes this is a matter of age or confidence and the easy thing to do is to think there might be a problem with the site. Despite the thousands of people who have completed successful transactions and campaigns on the Plum Alley site, there are still some that need our special support and guidance. We are only too happy to help them out.


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